Should I Buy a Fake Handbag? Hmm. No

Fake handbags on rack

Raise your hand if you dream of owning a designer handbag? Chanel, Fendi, Gucci, Prada — they’re all stunning, to die for, fab and all the rest of it. Now, raise your hand if spending $1000+ on a purse is out of the question for your lifestyle and budget.

In truth, few of us can afford to spend that kind of money on an accessory. That’s why a good knockoff can hold a lot of appeal — along with your wallet, your cell phone and your makeup case.

Buy a Fake Bag: It’s Too Easy

Knockoff bags are also fairly easy to procure. If you’re not in a big city, you can check the internet. And if you are in a big city, well, there’s always one street downtown that offers a selection of fakes. In Manhattan, for example, down a street called Canal, you’ll see stall after stall of goods for sale and it all looks fairly harmless. But then someone whispers a few designer names in your ear. And before you can say “Louis,” a door opens and you are whisked into a secret room that looks a lot like handbag heaven.

Every designer name you can think of is staring back at you, and each and every one of them could be yours for just two or tree digits. Your eyes glaze over and their siren song begins pulling at your mind, rationalizing this amazing score until you are reaching for your wallet.

The Moral Dilemma

The only problem is that the seller of said fake bags is technically infringing on designer trademarks. It’s like someone’s copying a report you wrote for work and turning it in as their own. You did the research, you formulated the argument, you put it down on paper. And then someone else photocopies that work and now it’s treated as common knowledge. Annoying, right?

Women buying fake bags in Manhattan

Still, the moral dilemma does nothing to soothe your desire to buy a fake bag. It’s natural and definitely doesn’t mean you’re a terrible person. After all, there is something captivating about designer labels — that’s why they can charge so much.

But there are other ways to get that flashy bag you crave. Ways that, though they might take some patience and persistence, are all 100 percent above board. Translate that to mean you won’t feel a bit of shame and regret the morning after.

Better Ways to Buy a Fake Handbag

Shop eBay

eBay has its share of fakes, but you can find the real deal. Your first stop is to check eBay’s authenticated listings — these are bags that have been verified authentic by the eBay team. Here’s your fair warning: these won’t be cheap.

If the authenticated bags don’t suit your budget, look for acronyms like “NWT” meaning new with tags, or “NWOT,” which is new without tags. Also, check the seller’s reputation. You’ll want to deal with only trusted sellers that have positive feedback from buyers.

You might find pre-owned bags that are more affordable. Inspect the photos carefully and ask questions about the bag’s condition before you buy. Specifically, ask if the bag was owned by a smoker or if it’s been stored around or with mothballs — these smells are virtually impossible to get out. Preowned sales are usually final, so be 100% before you hit the buy button.

Buy second-hand at consignment shops

Purses hanging on store rack

Buying a designer bag that has been “gently owned” with a gentle price tag is another marvy way to make that designer arm candy dream come true. You can shop consignment stores online, but the real deals often happen in a physical consignment shop near you.

Time share a bag with your friends

Friends holding designer bags and wearing fur coats

If the luxury item in question is something that you and your friends are dying over, why not split the cost and share the item?

Depending on the number of people in on the split, it could go something like this: you and your two BFFs fall in lurve with a gorgeous (insert uber fab bag name here) but the price point is just too high. The three of you split the cost and you each keep the bag for four months out of the year. Or you could each keep it a month at a time.

Time-sharing is a great way to get that limited edition Prada tote without maxing your overdraft. Just be sure that the terms are clear and that you are, in fact, very good friends. Because all’s fair in love and designer bags, n’est-ce pas?

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Catherine Brock

Style Editor at The Budget Fashionista
Catherine Brock is a writer, editor and marketer who's been sharing wisdom online since 2002. She's been featured on DrLaura.com, Wellness.com and ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis and KCAL9 Los Angeles. Connect with Catherine on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter.
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